From Godwin Tsa, Abuja
President Muhammadu Buhari on Wednesday came in for some criticism from a former military governor of Ogun State, Commodore Kayode Olofinmoyin (retd), who attributed the rising insecurity in the country to what he suggested to be an ethnic imbalance in appointments into the President’s National Security Council.
While calling on the President to correct the imbalance, the ex-military administrator, who spoke in Abuja at a Peace, Unity and Security Lecture Series organised by the Leaders and Life News House, with the theme, “Sustainable Peace: The Growing Divide of a Nation”, observed that with the political inequality in the country, Nigeria cannot have peace and the desired development due to mistrust.
‘The President, the Chief of Staff, National Security Adviser, Minister of Defence, Chief of Army Staff, Chief of Navy Staff, Director of DSS, National Intelligence Agency (NIA), are all northerners and only the Chief of Defence Staff and Chief of Air staff are southerners,’ he observed.
‘So, of the 11 [members of] the National Security Council, nine are northerners, only two are southerners. So, I am telling you as a former military governor and 70 years of age, when you go for the National Security Council those two southerners are just there as onlookers. So, how do they expect us to believe in the outcome of such meetings, and they said it is national, and that is why the killings by herdsmen, kidnapping and banditry is still on the rise because people doing such things feel they are favoured,’ he said.
The former military administrator stressed the need for adherence to the rule of law, saying without the guarantee of equality in the country there cannot be progress or development.
Speaking earlier, the Vice-Chancellor, Benson Idahosa University, Prof Sam Guobadia, said that until Nigeria restructures its mode of governance there will be no lasting peace.
‘If there is no restructuring, power devolution, there cannot be peace. There is a need for a complete overhaul of the governance structure for the realisation of peace, progress and stability as the way forward for Nigeria,’ he stated.
He stressed the need for the re-ordering of the country’s political and economic structures to achieve sustainable peace and security.
‘It is time to stop dealing with the symptoms of Nigeria’s problem but deal with the root causes, fix the political environment, achieving peace and security without disturbing the current governance structure will be a difficult objective.’
The Convener of the Lecture Series, Chioma Grace Egboh, said that Nigerians must endeavour to form a lasting union that is established in justice and equality, regardless of ethnic, religious and cultural differences.